I was reading Alan Kirby’s article The Death of Postmodernism in that most accessible (to laypersons like myself) of philosophical journals, Philosophy Now.

The title is a misnomer – no doubt picked for a certain spectacle and shock value, rather than a true reflection of the content – as the article is more an effort to describe what has following/is following/will follow post-modernism than a post-mortem on the post-modern.

The distinction he makes strikes me. Even in post-modernism, when a book was printed, an artwork created, it existed irrespective of any consumer of that book or that artwork. But Kirby posits that the more purely electronic and ephemeral products of post-post-modernism only exist in the reception by a viewer. They have no existence beyond that (does an email, hanging in cyberspace, exist if the recipient never opens it?). As for ephemerality, versus the relative solidity of a printed book, well, let me just suggest you try to find your Facebook status updates from four years ago.

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